Saturday, October 8, 2016

Obama Draws A Flag For Driving America Apart

I have to scream foul and say there is something very wrong when Americans are encouraged to base their vote on the color of their skin. This is a most polarizing development and when the President comes out and encourages it we have a bigger problem. In doing so he raises the ire and resentment of many Americans that carry no racial malice but are struggling to survive financially. To these, and most other Americans race is not the "big issue" or even a major issue, they simply want to get along and by elevating the matter of race he drives an unnecessary wedge into an already troubled nation. This has flowed straight into politics where Obama has been less than kind with over the top attacks on Trump and belittling him at every opportunity.

Obama Has Focused On What Divides Us
In my opinion, this was all elevated to a new level at an event reported on Meet The Press last month. During a speech Obama gave at the Congressional Black Caucus he stated he would consider it “a personal insult, an insult to my legacy” if black turnout falters for Hillary Clinton. This is reminiscent  of his actions two years ago, in the heat of midterm elections in which growing disdain for him was the defining force. “My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot,” Obama said as his voice grew to a shout. Hope and change was his campaign slogan eight years ago. This year, Obama said, Trump presents a nightmarish vision of change that he urged the country to reject. “Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that’s on the ballot right now.”

During his speech, Obama attempted to ratchet emotions even  higher than he did at his fall campaign launch event for Clinton in Philadelphia the week before when he let loose a barrage at Trump and presented him as an existential threat to black America. The president sneered at Trump’s supposed appeal to African-Americans, being delivered at a campaign event in Colorado where the Republican ticked through a list of endemic problems faced by black communities and claimed the Democratic party had failed to deliver on promises made over the years. “We do have challenges,” Obama said, rebutting him, “but we’re not stupid.” Noting that Trump tells people that African-Americans have never had it worse Obama said Trump “missed that whole civics lesson about slavery and Jim Crow,” then gave a plug to the new Smithsonian African-American Museum opening on the Mall this week. “We’ve got a museum for him to visit. So he can tune in.”

It is not a secret that President Obama and Donald Trump have more than a strained relationship. Many people place the blame squarely on Trump who picked up the ball and moved it down the field when it comes to the "birther movement" that questions whether Obama was born in America and legally eligible to hold the office of president. No matter how much it is denied by the media the movement did originate near or within the Clinton camp during the tough 2008 Democratic primary. It if a fact that Trump did to many become the flag bearer of the movement, however, this is not necessarily an attack based on race. It should be noted that since that time it has been used in questioning where more than one white candidate has been born and if they can legally run for the office.

This Presidential campaign has been marred by more than a few ugly attacks and this latest effort to keep African-American voters in lines may be the result of Clinton's flagging poll numbers. How bad is the situation and concern Hillary has not been able to gain traction and put Trump away? The New York times in a lead article not long ago pointed to how  polls were creating a panic in the Clinton campaign, this could be what has unleashed an all out no holds barred attack on Trump. The influence from both the White House and much of the Washington establishment can be seen within the rumors and stories circulating everywhere that mainstream media has been told in no uncertain terms to censor positive stories about Trump and kill any negative articles about Clinton.

This article has been a long time coming and delayed by my trepidation to address the idea that our first black President has not only failed in bring us together but hindered the process. I suspect that Trump is no more race oriented and driven than most of us who just want to get along and go about their day trying to treat others the way they would like to be treated. Clinton said at a fundraiser recently, "I'm the only thing standing between you and the abyss." Ironically, it is becoming clear many Americans would rather hurl themselves into the abyss than to vote for her. Returning to the crux of this article, the bottom-line is that if Politics were a sport played on a field a red flag would have been thrown and Obama would  have drawn a penalty for promoting racism. Maybe inciting racial angst would be a better term it is a sad day when skin color trumps government policy in determining how we vote. 

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